Adam Sandler will return to Studio 8H in Rockefeller Plaza to host Saturday Night Live in a few weeks, a solid 24 years after he last appeared on the show as a cast member. That marks the longest-ever gap between when a cast member last appeared on the show and returned to host, a record he holds by a mere seven days.
As reported today by The Inquisitr, Sandler, 52, will host the venerable NBC comedy on May 4, joined by musical guest Shawn Mendes.
Sandler worked on the show from 1990-1995, first as a writer, then as a regular cast member. In his day, he was one of the most popular performers on the show, creating such characters as Cajun Man, Opera Man, and Canteen Boy as well as performing musical comedy bits, such as “The Chanukah Song,” that would later be a part of his stand-up comedy oeuvre.
After SNL, Sandler went on to become one of the most bankable comic actors of his generation, earning tens of millions with comedies such as The Waterboy and Billy Madison. His later career has seen some hits and misses, but he remains one of the most successful SNL cast members of all time.
In the 24 years since leaving the show, Sandler has come back a few times, always for a brief guest appearance but never as host. In a few weeks, he’ll finally dot that i in his career.
Of course, Sandler is not the only former SNL cast member to return to the show as host. Dozens have done so, including some who have hosted several times, such as Chevy Chase.
None, however, have waited as long after leaving the show as Sandler has, with a gap of what will total 23 years, 11 months, and 29 days. In second place behind Sandler is Dan Aykroyd, who was a cast member between 1975-1979 and didn’t return to host until 2003, 23 years, 11 months, and 22 days later. Like Sandler, Aykroyd filled the gap between cast member and host by making cameos and brief guest appearances on the show, while also becoming a bankable comic actor.
The shortest gap between being an SNL cast member and appearing as a host can’t be measured mathematically, as Eddie Murphy (1980-1984) was still a regular cast member when he hosted in 1982. That was a special situation: His 48 Hours co-star, Nick Nolte, had been scheduled to host that night but had to back out at the last minute, and Eddie was an 11th-hour replacement.
Putting aside Murphy’s host-as-cast member appearance, he still holds the record for the shortest gap between appearing as a cast member and appearing as a host on SNL. He left the show two episodes before the end of the 1983-84 season, then returned to host a few months later in December of 1984.